Habitat: It is a nursery-produced hybrid and thus doesn’t exist in nature.
Cultivation: Easy, as it’s a very tolerant plant. A bright spot, scarce waterings and warm temperatures will suit well.
Curiosity: Mangave is a nursery hybrid, unintentionally obtained by an accidental crossed pollinization between a Manfreda and an Agave.
Mangave is a nursery hybrid, unintentionally obtained by an accidental crossed pollinization between a Manfreda and an Agave. On the other hand, nowadays Manfreda is not an indipendent genus any more as it’s included in genus Agave, so the botanical name Mangave is actually obsolete. Mangave belong to the family of Asparagaceae.
The name × Mangave was first used in 2005 by Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery and Carl Schoenfeld and Wade Roitsch of Yucca Do Nursery to describe two plants growing from seed collected as Manfreda in the wild in Northern Mexico that were growing adjacent to some plants of Agave. Only two seedlings from the original seed batch were actually hybrids, but from then on they started to cross more and more species of Agave with different species of Manfreda and they obtained more than twenty different cultivars.
There are nowadays 30-40 cultivars of Mangave available on the market. These plants are very appreciated in the world of ornamental gardening for their highly decorative rosettes of leaves, variously coloured and abundant, and for their extreme resistence and adaptability to any condition of cultivation.
Mangaves are like more compact and fast-growing Agaves. They don’t exceed 60 centimeters in height and 45 centimers in width.
They have a remarkable rosette of green to bluish, variously spotted leaves, depending on the cultivar. The shape of the leaves range from linear lanceolate, to triangular with wavy edges, to slightly gut-shaped. Sometimes the tip of the leaves are equipped with a sharp point (in this case, the leaves are called “mucronated”), however, in general, leaves are more gentle than the one of Agaves, making Mangave easier to handle: this is another reason why Mangave is so appreciated. They can be more or less stiff depending on the cultivar: in some ones, they are slightly curved outwards.
After several years of growth, Mangave produces a bloom stalk of branching, yellow inflorescences. Most Mangave, like Agaves, are monocarpic: this means that they produce only one bloom in their lifetime and they die soon after. They can, however, produce new offsets or “pups” that will live on after the mother plant dies.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Here are a few cultivars of Mangave:
- M. ‘Bad Hair Day’
- M. ‘Bloodspot’
- M. ‘Cappucino’
- M. ‘Espresso’
- M. ‘Lavender Lady’
- M. ‘Macha Mocha’
- M. ‘Pineapple
- M. ‘Silver Fox’
Check our online shop to find them!
TIPS FOR GROWING
Mangave is a very tough hybrid and it’s perfect if your seeking for a low-maintanage plant. Here below are our tips of cultivation:
- It likes very bright places. However, avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day. It prefers dry environments. Plants grown outdoors, exposed to direct sunglight, usually show brighter colors.
- It is preferable to keep it at mild temperatures and never below 5 °C, for this reason we recommend to shelter it during the winter period.
- Water moderately but only when the soil is completely dry. It is enough to water the plant once a week in spring and summer, suspend watering completely in autumn and winter.
- The ideal soil should be well-draining, even better if further enriched with inert materials such as pumice, sand or lapilli.
- They do not need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
- They are fast-growing species, so we suggest to repot them at least once a year.
Mangave can be easily propagated simply through their numerous offsets growing around its base, which can be simply transplanted to new pots.